CALL (800) 863-5312 to speak with fort collins car accident lawyers near you
Many of us drive every day. With Colorado State University, a bustling downtown, and its location near some major freeways, traffic flows constantly throughout Fort Collins. Unfortunately, this increases the likelihood of car accidents. On top of the injuries, accident victims might also ask, “Do I need a personal injury attorney?”
A Fort Collins car accident lawyer can help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries, but hiring the right attorney is critical. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Fort Collins car accident, call (800) 863-5312 to speak with one of Zinda Law firm’s Fort Collins car accident lawyers today.
colorado car accident statistics
Car accidents occur frequently in Fort Collins. To put into perspective just how many car accidents actually take place, it can be helpful to look at some statistics.
- In 2019, Coloradoans traveled a total of 54,634,000,000 miles in vehicles. This sort of astronomical number can clearly lead to lots of potential accidents.
- There were 544 fatal crashes in Colorado in 2019, which resulted in a total of 596 deaths.
- Fort Collins suffered 8 fatalities of those from car crashes and road traffic in that year, 2019.
- Of the drivers killed in 2019, 88% of them had a known BAC level that was greater than the legal limit at the time of their crash.
types of car accidents
There are many different types of car accidents, and the best strategy for seeking maximum compensation in your case will depend on the unique details of your accident.
Drunk Driving Accidents
As mentioned above, many fatal crashes in Colorado involve alcohol. Alcohol can affect drivers in a number of ways, including lowering their reaction times, inhibiting their decision making, and actually making it more difficult to see. These impairments can lead to very severe accidents, whether it be a driver driving on the wrong side of the road or blowing through a red light at full speed. Drunk driving accidents can also involve a criminal case in addition to your claim for compensation, which can complicate things a bit.
With the advent of cell phones, most of us are constantly connected to our friends and family. The proliferation of smart phones only increases the distraction that these devices can be. While it might seem harmless on its face, texting while driving can be extremely dangerous given the amount of time that it can take a driver’s eyes off of the road.
Distracted driving accidents can also be caused by things like talking to passengers or fiddling with the car’s audio system. The consequences of a distracted driving accident can be just as severe as an accident caused by driving while under the influence.
When it comes to apportioning fault and assigning liability for an accident, some situations are more complicated than others. For example, in an accident where one driver rear-ends another driver who was at a complete stop at a light, it will likely be the case that the rear driver will be assigned all of the fault. However, real life is often a bit more complicated than that.
Fault, or liability, for an accident can be divided up amongst as many vehicles as a given accident happens to involve, and this assignment of blame can be contentious. The complications only compound the more vehicles there are added to the mix. Having an experienced Fort Collins car accident law firm to help guide you through this process is critical. They have seen these types of accidents before, so you can rely upon their expertise in dealing with the many parties and insurance companies involved.
who is at fault?
Perhaps the most critical component of a personal injury case is establishing that someone is at fault, and therefore liable, for your injuries. In car accidents, the most common way of proving fault is negligence. Negligence is a legal term with four critical components: duty, breach, causation, and damages. In short, you must be able to show that the allegedly liable party had a duty to act in a certain way, that they failed to live up to this obligation, that this breach is what caused your injuries, and that you suffered actual damages.
Below are some of the more common parties who might be at fault for a Fort Collins car accident.
In most cases, at least one of the drivers will share in the fault for an accident. This can happen in a number of different ways. A driver may be driving in violation of the law, such as a driver who is driving while under the influence or a driver who is driving on a suspended license. A driver does not have to be driving in such flagrant violation of the laws to be liable for an accident, however. If a driver briefly loses concentration and drifts into your lane, for example, they may be at fault for the resultant damages.
In an accident, it is possible for the city itself to share in the liability. One example of this could be if the city negligently failed to repair a faulty stop light or did not provide enough warning signage in front of a construction site. These cases may be difficult to prove, but speaking with a personal injury lawyer near you can be a good place to start.
Restaurant or Bar
Colorado is one of the states in the US that has a “Dram Shop” law in place. These laws allow the victim of a car accident with an intoxicated driver to seek compensation from the establishment that provided the driver with the alcohol. For example, imagine a restaurant or bar who continued to serve alcohol to a patron who was already clearly intoxicated. If that patron leaves the restaurant, gets in their car, and causes an accident, then it is possible that the establishment could be liable to pay damages to the victim.
dealing with insurance companies
Insurance companies tend to try to build their business by positioning themselves as family companies who are always looking out for the best interests of their customers. However, accident victims need to remember that insurance companies are businesses first and foremost; as such, they exist to make money. To do this, they will try to take in as much in the form of premiums as they possibly can while attempting to pay out as little as they are legally obligated to.
In order to further their own financial interests, insurance companies often employ experienced claims adjusters who are skilled in getting people to say things that could damage their claims. One way to mitigate the risk of saying something that could harm your own claim is to seek the help of a Fort Collins car accident lawyer. An experienced personal injury attorney near you will also have a better idea of what your case could potentially be worth, which can help keep you from accepting any lowball offers that the insurance company might try to get you to take right after your accident.
making a car accident claim
Car accident victims often have several questions after their accident, including, “Do I need a personal injury attorney?” Or “How do I even file a claim?” While no two claims will ever be exactly the same because no two accidents are the exact same, it is critical that all accident victims complete a few key steps.
1. Contact a Fort Collins Car Accident Firm
Similar to how it would be unwise to tackle difficult plumbing problems around your house without the help of a qualified professional, it can be a bad idea to try to handle your legal issues on your own without the help of an attorney who has experience handling similar claims. An attorney can assist in a variety of ways, including valuing your claim to ensure that you don’t take less in a settlement than you may be entitled to, handling communications so that you don’t unwittingly damage a potential claim, and generally relieving you of the stress of managing the legal process.
2. Research and Investigate
Once you have hired an attorney, they can begin diving into the facts and law that will govern your case. This might include analyzing the available evidence, conducting interviews, and researching the applicable Colorado laws and statutes.
3. Negotiate a Settlement
Settlement negotiation is a critical component of most car accident claims given that most cases will settle before they reach the trial stage. An effective attorney will be able to help you at this stage by coming to the table with an understanding of the actual value of your case as well as an array of strategies to help you seek maximum compensation.
call zinda law group today at (800) 863-5312 for a 100% free consultation
Dealing with injuries and the stress that comes with a car accident can be enough of a burden in and of itself. So, when you need an injury lawyer, a Fort Collins car accident attorney can help you seek maximum compensation, but it can also relieve the burden of trying to do it all alone. There is no risk to calling Zinda Law Group—the consultations are free and confidential, and even when you do hire us, you won’t pay anything at all until we win your case for you. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.
Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.